As the dollar continues its perilous descent in value versus other major currencies, it might be more than your toes getting pinched by those fancy Italian shoes. Your wallet may be pinched as well.
Over the past year, the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by about 11% versus the euro. Over the past two years, it has declined 18%, and over five years, 28%. Versus the Japanese yen, the dollar has fared slightly better, falling by 9%, 8%, and 10% over the past one year, two years, and five years, respectively.
Certainly, the devaluation of our currency on the world market has contributed to the pain at the gas pump this summer. While our shrinking purchasing power may make us cringe as consumers, the declining dollar presents opportunities for us as investors.
A weak dollar means that U.S. goods are relatively less expensive in other countries. In recent commentary on the subject, investment management firm Lord Abbett noted that industries that have traditionally been dominant exporters, even during times of dollar strength, stand to benefit the most from dollar weakness. Three industries it highlighted were agricultural products; industrial materials, such as chemicals; and industrial machinery.
In the agricultural products sector, Compass Minerals
If the chemical industry is your bag, then DuPont
In industrial machinery, lesser-known equipment merchant Titan Machinery
The export trend isn't a magic elixir, so investors looking to make a quick profit should probably look elsewhere. However, patient investors willing to let the theme play out over time may benefit from further research in this area.
To begin your research, join our 110,000-strong community in CAPS, the Fool's free stock rating service.